Episode #64 Exploring Public History with Nick Sacco
It was great having Nick on the show…I love speaking to historians who regularly engage with the public. To me, public history best represents the intersection of academic history and the informed public. Nick is a NPS ranger at the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site in St. Louis, and I think he has a ton of important insights about public history that we should all embrace. My own work as a scholar and an educator often takes me to battlefields and other historic sites where I have in-depth conversations with my students about historical interpretation, the role of the park service, and even our responsibilities as informed citizens to look beyond the surface of a historically significant place. Nick and I take on many of these subject including:
The distinction between public and academic history
How one might frame public history for the broader public
U. S. Grant in history and memory…both as general and president
The challenge of “political” interpretations and the need to provide an inclusive history at historic sites
Social media (one of my favorite topics)…the good, the bad, and the ugly
Naturally, since Nick works at the Grant site, we also discussed Grant scholarship including Joan Waugh’s U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth and Brooks Simpson’s U. S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 and The Reconstruction Presidents . Nick also had some comments regarding Grant in popular history…by looking at Ron Chernow’s Grant.
Have a listen…I would love to hear your comments below!